American revolutionary war cover valued at $15,000

A cover dating to America's colonial era is valued at $10,000-15,000 ahead of Robert A Siegel's United States Postal History Sale on December 19-20.

It was sent from Albany, New York to American-occupied Montreal, Canada and features the date and the name of the sender, "Albany 27 Dec. '75, Abr. Ten Broeck", inscribed on the envelope.

Revolutionary war cover
The cover is the only known example
to have been sent from the US to
Canada in 1775

The cover is the only known example sent between Canada and the United States during this period, and was sent by Abraham Ten Broeck, a brigadier-general from New York.

Broeck was writing to Jacob Jordan, an agent for a London based firm supplying British troops.

The letter was received by the American Revolutionary Post Office.

The 1775 US invasion of Canada was executed to gain control of British Quebec and convince the French-speaking Canadians to side with the revolutionaries.

The US troops were ultimately beaten back to Fort Ticonderoga in New York State the following year - allowing the British to take control of the strategically important Hudson Valley.  

Before the advent of private postal companies, and later stamps, the recipient paid the cost of postage and the service was haphazard at best.

There was no national postal system until some time after the end of the revolutionary war.

Another cover, this time delivered from Nova Scotia to Scotland, is valued at $5,000-7,500.

The cross-border envelope displays the rare "Ind. And Pact. Postage" straight-line handstamp and features various annotations and marks accrued on the journey from Canada to the UK.

You can view our selection of rare stamps here.

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